My Vitriol

When you stop drinking there’s a worry that your life will lose it’s danger and excitement. I was gunna say it’s a misconception, but on reflection it’s really not. It’s fucking true – at least to some degree. The thing is though, right, that danger and excitement isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes the danger you get yourself into when you’re drunk is BAD, for example this stupid stunt I pulled on a boat across to Amsterdam.

On the whole though, yes, life might lose a bit of excitement. Especially if, like me, you used to love the feeling of getting loaded on booze listening to banging tunes, and then hitting the town like a sort of Tasmanian-Devil-Eddie-Hitler hybrid with no idea what adventures lay ahead, or where you might end up. A drunken pinball bouncing all over the place making loud honking noises and spilling drinks.

With my life now being that of a sensible, married, sober man (2 years off the booze!), and with my ridiculous techno band Petrol Bastard winding down towards our final gig next weekend, you could be forgiven for thinking that things in my world are stagnating. Might as well trade that leather jacket in for some beige trousers and tartan slippers eh?

Actually NO.

The trick is to take your vast wads of cash, all of that filthy lucre you’ve saved from not drinking, and to spunk it on stuff that gets you excited: punk gigs, violent movies, massive black rubber sex toys, fast cars, climbing trips. Hamburgers (what? hamburgers can be exciting too).

Life re-calibrates after a bit, and you start to wonder how you ever found being drunk all that exciting. It seemed fun at the time, but have you ever really looked at a very drunk person on a night out in Leeds city centre? It’s not pretty. Getting out there and getting stuff done is the new PLASTERED (even the fucking statistics prove it!), and you will find yourself happy. Your days will become fulfilling, and you’ll no longer look like shit and smell like old wine.

But then.

Something else comes along and…

BOOM!

You discover ice hockey.

My wife used to date an ice hockey player, for a lot of years, and so she has a good understanding of the game. I’ve never been to a game before, in fact never even thought about it – why would you? But she suggested it, and I’m always up for stuff, so we went. Holy shit it was awesome! Fast paced, loud, and violent! Yes!

There was one point where the play was down the far end of the rink, away from where we were sat, and just near us there was one of the players from our local team, MK Lightning, just skating past and minding his own business, probably hanging back in defense or something. He might have even been thinking about what to cook for tea tomorrow, or trying to decide what to buy his little nephew for his birthday. This player from the opposing team, Cardiff Devils, just innocently skates past him, looking like butter wouldn’t melt, then BLAM he power-shoves the MK guy to the floor. No provocation, nothing to gain, just nastiness for the sake of it. No penalty awarded either. Lovely vitriol spilled all over the ice. Just what I’ve been missing.

HIT HIM IN THE FAAAAAACE

Suddenly any gaps left in my life are filled, any yearnings for excitement, any voids that remained after the removal of alcohol and crazy parties are wholly satisfied. Mindless violence is the answer.

And now I’m a bit hooked. I’m not bothered about where MK stand in the league tables you understand. I’m not even bothered if they win. I just want a bit of blood. I need my fix of chaos and panic.

I never really got on that well with football and now I realise why. Football – you need to try and be more exciting, like your huge toothless American cousin Ice Hockey. The one in the wheelchair with the brain injury.

So in summary; don’t fret if you’re thinking of quitting the booze, but struggling with the inevitably of life becoming drabber than a Coldplay song.

Just get out there and watch some people twat each other with sticks. I promise it helps.

Big ups the SoberPunks massive.

J

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